News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday October 23rd 2017

Fight over votes for ANC local government candidate

Nomsimelelo Kato, 34, says the wife of the Residents Committee chairperson tried to beat her up in front of her children because she did not go to vote for the ANC local government candidate. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

A woman in Khayelitsha’s Tshephe-Tshephe Informal settlement claims she was attacked by the Residents Committee chairperson’s wife because she didn’t vote for their chosen ANC candidate for the upcoming local government elections.Nomsimelelo Kato, 34, a mother of two children, said the Residents Committee chairperson’s wife, Princess Makhungeka, came to her house on Thursday afternoon to tell her that as an ANC member she had to vote for candidate ward councillor Mavis Mafoko that evening.

Mafoko was the Residents Committee preferential candidate who would be up against incumbent ward councillor Princess Kotyi.

But Kato said she had no-one to baby-sit her children and would not be able to attend the meeting where the voting would take place.

“I told her that I can’t attend because I don’t have someone to leave with my kids and they’re both young.”

But Kato said Makhungeka told her she needed to either find a baby-sitter or take her children with her.

“Since she was forceful I ended up saying that I’ll attend the election, but I never did,” said Kato.

When Kato told her neighbours on Friday morning about being forced to vote, word spread of the issue spread fast.

“She came straight to my house, swearing. When I swore back she beat me. I have scratches on my neck because of her. She didn’t even respect my children, she beat me in front of them,” said Kato

Asked if she opened a case of assault with the police, she said she didn’t because she feared her life would be in danger if she took the matter further.

Makhungeka said her and Kato had now made peace.

“I didn’t beat her because she didn’t attend the voting, I was passing her house and I heard her saying ‘nantsi lekaka ithi mandiyovota’ (this shit forced me to go to the election). That was what caused the fight, but we forgave each other.”

A Residents Committee member who didn’t want to be named said: “Kato was supposed to report the matter to the committee. This matter needs us as woman to solve it and we will get to the bottom of it.”

ANC Zone 6 General Secretary Bongani France said the branch was investigating the matter.

“It was totally wrong for the street committee to force someone to vote for this candidate, everyone has to right to vote for the person he or she wants to vote for.” – Nombulelo Damba, West Cape News

Tags: anc member, informal settlement, Khayelitsha, local government elections, residents committee, ward councillor

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